31 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/30/2005
CHINA
No children allowed in Xinjiang churches

Yining (AsiaNews/Forum 18) – Children are not allowed inside Catholic churches in Xinjiang (north-western China), this according to Fr Sun Zin Shin, a Catholic priest in Yining (Ili-Kazakh autonomous prefecture), who spoke to Forum 18.

Father Sun said one schoolboy who managed to get into last December's Christmas service in Nilka (120 km east of Yining) despite a police checkpoint to prevent this was subsequently beaten by his teacher who had seen him go inside.

The clergyman said that in Nilka state officials visit Catholic families and warn them that they would have "problems at work" if their children do not stop attending church. He complained about intimidations by local authorities and strict controls over minorities designed to keep them away from religion. Religious groups come in fact under the jurisdiction of the Religious Affairs Bureau (RAB) and interference has reached the point that the authorities even demanded Catholics reduce the size of the cross on their church.

Father Sun is adamant: "We are citizens and taxpayers just as much as the atheists, but in the eyes of the state we are second-class people," he said. "We have the absurd situation that we are paying taxes and these same officials and law-enforcement agencies watch us and prevent us from professing our faith". What is worse, according to Father Sun, holding services anywhere but in the four registered churches of the prefecture is banned.

"In many towns we don't have a registered church, but we have parishioners," he explained, "yet we are categorically forbidden to hold services in private apartments under threat of several days' administrative arrest. The authorities basically regard believers as potential terrorists. I am not afraid to speak about this openly. I want the whole world to know about the problems of believers in the Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region".

Yining is 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the Kazakh border and 600 kilometres (375 miles) from the capital Ürümqi.

Orthodox Christians don't fare much better even though for them the main problems are the lack of clergy and places of worship.

Under Chinese law foreign clergymen can work in China only if they have a permit from the central government in Beijing and for now there are no Orthodox priests who are Chinese citizens.

In December 2003, the dean of the Zharkent prefecture of the Astana and Almaty Orthodox diocese of neighbouring Kazakhstan, Fr Vianor Ivanov, spent a week under house-arrest in Yining and was then deported from China for illegally working with local Orthodox believers.

Protestants are more cautious. Luda Li, the pastor of the local Protestant church, said that she and her community had no problems with the authorities since they closely adhere to RAB rules.

She said the rules forbid holding services except in registered churches, adding that baptisms can be performed only after prior authorisation from secular authorities. Similarly, religious marriage is allowed only after it has been registered with civil authorities.

Ethnic Uighur and Dungan imams and Yen Shi, the only local Buddhist monk, declined to talk to Forum 18 without RAB approval. Yen Shi did say however that "even local people who want to find out about Buddhism have to get the permission of the Religious Affairs Bureau before talking with me".


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
02/13/2007 NEPAL
Elevation to Apostolic Vicariate, “pope’s gift to Nepal”
by Prakash Dubey
12/12/2006 CHINA
Christians tortured in Xinjiang, Anhui church forcibly shut down
12/20/2004 CHINA - VATICAN
New regulations for controlling religions
by Bernardo Cervellera
09/06/2005 INDONESIA
Cardinal of Jakarta calls on police to protect churches from attacks by fundamentalists
by Moerkekaq Senggotro
09/01/2005 CHINA
More than 10,000 faithful attend the funeral of Mgr Xie, underground Bishop of Mingdong

Editor's choices
IRAN
Time for a deal with Tehran, a reliable partner against the Islamic State group
by Bernardo Cervellera A framework agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue has to be inked by 31 March. US Republicans, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fiercely opposed to it for ulterior motives. Hassan Rouhani wants Iran to come back into the international fold. Tehran is playing a mediating role in the Middle East. For Vatican nuncio, “there is no evidence that Iran is preparing a nuclear bomb.”
CHINA - VATICAN
BREAKING NEWS: Chinese police seize two priests in Mutanjiang
by Bernardo Cervellera
CHINA-VATICAN
Nothing to toast between China and the Vatican: Beijing wants complete control
by Bernardo CervelleraFor the Global Times (the People's Daily) China does not like the "Vietnamese model" of agreed episcopal ordinations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s embarrassment in front of the Holy See’s countless efforts. China wants the Vatican to accept all excommunicated bishops and to keep silent on those who are underground and imprisoned. The case of Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang. Without religious freedom, diplomatic relations are pointless. The work of mission and the unity of Catholics in China. A task for Xi Jinping: implement the anti-corruption campaign in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Patriotic Association, which have grown rich over the decades on the backs of Christians.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.